Maingear is like the Aston Martin of gaming desktops — its PCs are opulent art pieces that double as high-performance machinery. The company's latest rig, the Rush Superstock (starting at $1,799, reviewed at $7,927), packages high-end components — such as an octa-core Intel Core i7 processor, an Asus Rampage V Extreme motherboard and three Nvidia GeForce 980 Ti GPUs — housed in an exquisite chassis made of aluminum and tempered glass. The result is a gaming rig that will garner more than its fair share of oohs and aahs, whether you're showing it off to friends or kicking ass in your favorite game.
Design: The Beautiful Ones
To quote the legendary artist Prince, "I only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain." Since its arrival, I've been sneaking back to the lab to peak at this amethyst beauty, counting down the minutes until we could be together. The fascination has only intensified since I've started actually using the Rush Superstock.
Now, I can take time to admire and run my fingers over the cool brushed Volt Violet aluminum chassis that's been chemically painted using ElectroColor, the same process used to color iPhones. The end result is a finish that's extremely durable and breathtakingly beautiful. A slender strip of black plastic along the front of the rig informs me in simple white font that this is a Maingear machine.
As tantalizing as the aluminum is, the two tempered glass panels on the desktop's sides are the real stars of the show. The transparent sides act as literal windows into this behemoth's soul, and it's hard to look away. Maingear has strategically placed white LEDs around the fans and battery so you can admire the painstaking detail that was put into creating this system. The white nylon-braided cables are woven throughout the black matte interior, held meticulously in place by individual brackets.
While the Violet is visually stunning, Maingear offers 16 color options in either its traditional high-gloss automotive paint or the ElectroColor finish for $399. The nine interior paint options ($399 for standard, $499 for a custom finish) are limited to car paint. You can also choose from seven colors for the LED lighting.
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For god's sake, whatever you do, please lift this PC with your knees. Measuring 24 x 21.5 x 8.6 and weighing an even 80 pounds, the Rush Superstock takes up a nice chunk of real estate in your gaming den. It makes the OriginPC Millennium (60 pounds, 21.4 x 24.8 x 9.75 inches) or the Alienware Area-51 (59 pounds, 22.4 x 25.2 x 10.7 inches) seem like featherweights by comparison.
Liquid Cooling: Choose Your Color
Maingear never does anything half-assed, and that includes its liquid cooling system. You'll find the company's handcrafted hard crystal tubing along the desktop's major components, including the motherboard and GPU, secured by metal fittings. The liquid in our tube is a lovely lilac color, but Maingear will also do custom hues to match the color to a customer's specifications.
In addition to the premium tubing, the desktop has two Copper Core radiators (240 millimeter and 320 millimeter) that house several high-power fans. Using the company's Intuitive Airflow Control technology, the fans' speeds are controlled by the motherboard, allowing for quick adjustments according to temperature and system performance.
Whether I was hacking and spellcasting my way through The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, writing this review or stealing a few moments to watch the latest season of Daredevil, the Rush's fans were pretty quiet. At its loudest, the most I heard was a gentle purr as the fans pulled in air to cool down the system.
Ports and Expandability
Because you can never have too many ports and jacks, the Rush Superstock gives you a plethora of connections to use at your leisure. Along the bottom right, you'll find three USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, two headset jacks and the power button for the LEDs. But that's only the beginning, because in the back are 10 more USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports for the motherboard, an old-school PS/2 port for a mouse or keyboard, Ethernet, five audio ports and an S/PDIF input. As far as the graphics cards, each has a DVI port, HDMI and three DisplayPorts.
Accessing the back of the desktop is simple as removing the four large purple screws holding the removable panel in place. The same goes for the tempered-glass panels.
Gaming and Graphics: Let's Go Crazy
The Rush Superstock looks totally amazing, but how's the gaming? Sporting three Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPUs in SLI formation with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each, the Rush makes fragging and questing feel pretty freaking sweet. Even better, the GPUs are optimized for Nvidia's G-Sync technology and are VR-ready, so when you're ready to go virtual, all you'll need to do is plug in your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and dive in.
As I explored the lands of Novigrad in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I wished I could live in the world gorgeously rendered at 45 frames per second on ultra at 3840 x 2160 (4K). Decreasing the setting to high raised the frame rate to 60, while a downgrade to medium netted 68 fps. And while more frames are usually a good thing, I wanted to play every game at its highest settings with these kinds of specs.
The desktop produced a 186 fps frame rate at high on 1080p during the Rainbow Six benchmark, topping the 144 fps desktop average and the Millennium's 153 fps (Dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPUs). When the resolution rose to 4K, the Rush Superstock's results fell to 65 fps. However, that was more than enough to top the 46 fps average and the Millennium's 53 fps.
During the GPU-taxing Metro: Last Light benchmark, the Rush Superstock achieved 90 fps on high at 1080p. That's well above the 55 fps average, as well as the Alienware Area-51's 77 fps (three Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 GPUs) and the Millennium's 30 fps. Moving to 4K, the Rush Superstock was just a frame shy of our 30 fps playability threshold at 29 fps. Still, it was enough to beat the 17 fps average, as well as the Area-51 (26 fps) and the Millennium (23 fps).
The Rush Superstock is a multitasking champion, thanks to its octa-core 4-GHz Intel i7-5960X processor with 16GB of RAM. I had no problem streaming an episode of House of Cards with 13 open tabs in Google Chrome, all while playing Witcher 3 in a separate window and running an antivirus scan.
The desktop performed swimmingly on synthetic tests, scoring 34,234 on Geekbench 3, which measures overall performance. That was more than enough to top the 17,101 desktop average as well as the Millennium's 20,365 (4.8-GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU) and the Area-51's 21,060 (3.5-GHz Intel Core i7-5930K).
Thanks to its 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, the Rush Superstock has blink-and-you'll-miss-it transfer speeds. The Purple Data Eater transferred 4.97GB of multimedia files in 11 seconds, which translates to a scorching 457.1MBps. That roasts the 230.6MBps average and the Area-51's 256GB SSD (221MBps). However, the Maingear was no match for the Millennium's 512GB SSD, which delivered a blistering 621.3MBps.
On the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro Test, the Rush Superstock paired 20,000 names and addresses in 2 minutes and 59 seconds, beating the 3:36 average. The Area-51 delivered a time of 3:50, while the Millennium clocked in with a faster 2:36.
Software and Warranty
For such a heavy piece of machinery, the Rush Superstock is refreshingly light on software. Besides your usual Windows 10 apps, you have MSI Afterburner for overclocking the GPU and Nvidia GeForce Experience, which lets you optimize graphics settings for your games.
The Maingear Shift Superstock comes with Lifetime Angelic Service Labor and phone support with a one-year warranty.
Money can't buy you love, but it can buy you an absolutely sick desktop. The $7,972 configuration of the Rush Superstock I reviewed is outfitted with an Asus Rampage V Extreme motherboard, an octa-core 4-GHz Intel i7-5960X processor with 16GB of RAM, a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD with a 1TB SSD and three Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPUs in SLI formation with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each. That also includes such bells and whistles as the ElectroColor paint, custom lighting and cooling system, just to name a few.
If you don't have $8,000 lying around, the $1,799 base model features an MSI Z170 PC Mate motherboard, a 3.2-GHz Intel Core i5-6500 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 250GB SSD, a 2TB 7,200-rpm hard drive, a DVD burner and an AMD Radeon R7 360 graphics card with 2GB of VRAM. From there, you can add in pricier, more powerful components based on your needs.
If you're searching for quality components, excellent gaming performance and head-turning design, look no further than the Maingear Rush Superstock. At a whopping $7,972, consumers can expect a desktop crammed to the gills with powerful parts like an octa-core Intel Core i7 processor and three Nvidia 980 Ti cards that consistently throw graphical haymakers. If you want a truly personalized system, you can add tweaks such as custom paint, lighting and cooling systems.
However, if spending nearly $8,000 seems exorbitant, the Origin Millennium can be configured similarly for $4,206. It's still pretty pricy, but desktops like these are as much artistic showcases as they are gaming powerhouses. If money's no object, the Maingear Rush Superstock is definitely the way to go.